Goodwill accounting standards in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Japan

Garcia, Clémence; Katsuo, Yuko and van Mourik, Carien (2018). Goodwill accounting standards in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Japan. Accounting History, 23(3) pp. 314–337.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1032373217748672

Abstract

In this article, we revisit the history of accounting for goodwill in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Japan following the conclusions and predictions of Ding, Richard and Stolowy (2008). We aim at verifying whether the four phases of development of the accounting for goodwill between 1880 and 2005 are actually determined by the global change from a stakeholder model of corporate governance to a shareholder model. An extended time frame of analysis (until 2016) is considered in this study, which includes Japan among the country-specific accounting systems investigated. Our findings do not support Ding et al.’s predictions for Japan and demonstrate a disagreement between those countries which consider goodwill as a depleting asset and those which consider goodwill as a permanent asset. This observation might explain better the current debate concerning international harmonization on goodwill.

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